Dixon got his first top film billing in 1964's Nothing But a Man.
Dixon appeared with, and doubled for, Sidney Poitier in 1957's Something of Value, 1958's The Defiant Ones, and 1959's Porgy and Bess.
Dixon's career took off with his stage performance in the 1957 Broadway play The Cave Dwellers.
Dixon attended Hillside High School in Durham, North Carolina.
Ivan Dixon was nominated for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Drama for his performance in 1967's "CBS Playhouse: The Final War of Olly Winter"